• Adventures,  Expeditions,  How To's,  My Blog

    Transform into a Fearless Adventurer: Your Ultimate Guide

    Devote yourself to the project not just for the sake of it or even solely for charity, but primarily because it resonates deeply with your own values and aspirations. There’s no time like the present! It’s never too late, and you don’t have to wait like I did. I embarked on my first real wild adventure by walking 650 km to the North Pole at the age of 62. To enhance your quest to become a seasoned adventurer, begin by embracing challenges that are both demanding, unusual and captivating. Engage in endeavors that ignite your passion and curiosity, something you deeply care about. Remember, the journey towards becoming a full-fledged…

  • Adventures,  Expeditions,  Marine,  My Blog

    Conquer the North Atlantic: a Monumental Rowing Adventure

    Rowing the North Atlantic is a monumental feat that requires incredible physical and mental endurance. The North Atlantic is known for its challenging weather patterns, strong currents, and unpredictable conditions, making it one of the most demanding bodies of water to cross. On 28th Jan 2016, approaching midnight – I was sitting in my rowing position on the “Toby Wallace”, a light-weight ocean rowing boat; ‘primed and ready for an attempt’ on a world record. Our challenge was to Row across the North Atlantic, setting off from Marina Puerto De Mogan Gran Canaria, 4815Km. / 2992 miles to Port St Charles Barbados faster than anyone before. I was musing !!!!    Rowing the Atlantic…

  • Adventures,  Expeditions,  Marine,  My Blog

    London 2 Paris Rowing Challenge

    The London 2 Paris Challenge in 2010 requires extreme physical endurance and considerable mental strength.  It’s the perfect example of open water rowing’s most demanding aspects; a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. I looked forward to an interesting and equally punishing journey from Big Ben, down along the River Thames, across the English Channel to La Havre and up the Seine to the finish at the Eiffel tower, a distance of 440 nautical miles. We rowed an old-fashioned traditional Thames Waterman Cutter; 34ft long, with a beam of 4ft 6”, in timber (clinker-built). We started from Big Ben, London, rowing our Thames Cutter towards the sea. Rotating six rowers and…

  • Adventures,  Expeditions,  My Blog,  Recovery

    Unsung Heroes  

    Sherpas, guides, and porters are the ‘unsung heroes’ and ‘overlooked champions’ whose invaluable contributions underpin our extraordinary adventures, yet often remain overlooked. Without their unwavering support, achieving our goals would be an almost insurmountable challenge. They bear the weight of crucial equipment and supplies, guaranteeing our sustenance, hydration, and shelter. Moreover, their expert guidance and vigilant presence play an indispensable role in safeguarding us throughout our voyages and adventures. It was a bittersweet, last night, on Mt Everest. We had achieved what we had set out to do – play rugby at altitude. On the Mountain we had seen friends sent home early. Twenty-seven of us arrived at Everest base…

  • Adventures,  Expeditions

    Kayaking the Great Glen Canoe Trail

    The Great Glen Way gives the adventurous a unique opportunity to paddle from the Atlantic to the North Sea; traverse across the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Inverness. Myself and four friends took on the multi-day challenge……in single Kayaks.  I’m so proud of my team – we nailed it ! 12th June – 16th June 2023 Mark ‘Ackers’ Ackred  :  Clay Smith  :  Rob Callaway  : Roger Davies : Jon Ingarfield An early morning start on Loch Oich. In the late afternoon we had “Lightning”…. It’s recommended to get ashore and away from the water asap. I agreed, because water will transmit lightning strikes from further away, so the quicker you…

  • Adventures,  Boating / Kayaking,  Cancer,  My Blog

    Kayak The English Channel

    BBC . South East Today – Evening News 25.6.2021 – I’m on the Telly!!! On the 3rd February 2021, I completed my chemotherapy treatment for Cancer and rang the Bell. Six months later 3rd August 2021 to celebrate this milestone I paddled a red kayak from Dungeness to Boulogne sporting my “Chemo Curls.” Being featured on the BBC in the South East is a great way to share an inspiring journey with a wider audience. I do my story can provide hope and inspiration to others going through similar challenges. Approaching Boulonge Harbour. Caught by Gendarmerie. After paddling 22.6 miles from Dungeness, a high-speed motorboat with its blue light flashing; crewed by…

  • Adventures,  Climbing / Caving,  Expeditions,  Mountaineering

    Mt.Everest Base Camp 2014

    Our journey to Everest Base Camp Nepal, 17,598 feet (5,364m) above sea level. The Team : Roger, Lucas Bateman, Lesley Pender, Annie (Annabelle) Hancock ,Clive Hagley & his youngest son Max, Julie Jones, Jan Meek Our journey to Everest Base Camp on the lower slopes of world’s highest and arguably the most majestic mountain is as spiritual uplifting as it is physically challenging. What makes it tougher; is trekking at altitude; rising an additional 2680m, eventually to reach Everest Base Camp, sited at 5360m; where there is 50% less oxygen compared to sea level. Altitude sickness can hit you at any time, specially over 3000m We flew from from Kathmandu,…

  • Adventures,  Hiking / Trekking,  Hiking / Trekking

    Sahara Desert

    To me, the Sahara displays an awe-inspiring uniqueness as did the North Pole. They share extremes of contrasts yet alike in so many ways; legend, mystery and raw beauty. Both can and will kill you if you don’t respect them. The Sahara is the largest non-polar desert on our planet; 3,320,000 square miles (8,600,000 square km) If you take the wrong dune and lose your way, you’re in deep do-do, (shit)! A desert is a barren area, defined by averaging less than 10 inches / 25cm of precipitation (rainfall) each year. Clear skies, light wind and dry air helps the air temperature cool off significantly at night.  Insufferable heat during the…

  • Adventures,  Climbing / Caving,  Expeditions,  Hiking / Trekking,  Mountaineering

    “How I Climbed Kilimanjaro Twice, Once with a Metal Knee”

    Kilimanjaro demands respect, this mighty dormant volcano, soaring from the African plains, stands as the tallest freestanding mountain globally, reaching a staggering 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level. Undertaking the challenge of conquering Kilimanjaro is not merely a physical feat; it’s a journey of personal determination and endurance. Embarking on this adventure with friends, I faced the monumental task of ascending Africa’s highest peak. In 2010, we tackled the Machame Route, we ascended through heavy scree that tested our limits. Descending was not without difficulties – a dodgy knee and tired legs. In 2012, armed with a newly replaced knee joint, I returned to Kilimanjaro to test the effectiveness…

  • Adventures,  Climbing / Caving,  Hiking / Trekking,  Mountaineering,  Speaking

    Rugby on Everest 2019

      In April 2019 we trekked in the footsteps of Mallory and Irvine, up the Magic Highway’ to Mt Everest’s Advance Base Camp (ABC3) 6,500m/ 21,000 feet; which is just below the North Col to play two games of Rugby on a glacier. Myself and Lesley, trekked and played alongside, Rugby stars Lee Mears, Ollie Phillips, Shane Williams, Tamara Taylor plus 20 inspirational men and women to help raise more than £250,000 for children with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland. The Rugby Challenge took place across 24 days; our group battled acclimatisation and altitude to play the World Record for highest ever game  of mixed seven-a-side ‘Touch Rugby’ at Everest…